Politicians, bureaucrats turn ‘encroachers’ in City

Govt in no mood to retrieve 295 kanals encroached land

Politicians, bureaucrats turn ‘encroachers’ in City

IRFAN RASHID

Srinagar:

With every passing day, encroachment is engulfing many areas in Srinagar City and its outskirts in a rapid speed and government seems to have employed the policy of ‘forget and forgive’ to these land encroachers.
In last year December, when District administration demolished the boundary wall of the house of former Congress Minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed and retrieved 30 marlas of grazing land (Kah-charie) in Humhama which he had illegally grabbed, it was taken as harbinger of redeeming ‘encroached lands’ by the populace.
But despite passing 4 years, since ‘scam of illegal encroachment’ has been making news, government is in no mood to set up any enquiry or retrieve all the 295 kanal Humhama-Gogoo land.
A source from ruling party said, “It is very difficult for our party to announce a Probe Committee for inquiry in Humhama-Gogoo land Scam (outside Srinagar Airport) as it involves some politicians and top brass officials of state administration also.”
Reports revealed that in Humhama area 234 kanals and 1 marlas of Kahcharai land and 36 kanals 1 marlas of state land and in nearby Gogoo area 25 kanals 13 marlas of Kahcharai land have been encroached illegally over the years by hundreds of blue eyed people including noted bureaucrats and government officials.
On 17 April 2011, Naib Tehsildar Budgam had revealed names including top government officials of land encroachers under khasra numbers 1026, 1026/2.
On 15 June 2011, Deputy Commissioner Budgam shots a letter vide no. DCB/SQ//11/279-85 to Tehsildar Budgam reminding him of the minutes of the meeting with the then revenue Minister and Divisional Commissioner Kashmir to take immediate action against land encroachers at an earliest.
On 14 July 2011, in response to the letter of the DC Budgam, Tehsildar Budgam vide letter no. 161-63 writes that ‘Assamie wise’ notices have been issued to the encroachers of Humhama Friends enclave, Gowsia Colony, Gogoo, Jawahir Housing colony and other such places after field staff submitted its report of total encroachment of land at Humhama and Gagoo and encroachers were asked to produce document if any of the land on which they have constructed complexes and a six member team including concerned Patwaris were directed to complete the process of documentation.
In December, 2014, a demolition drive was carried by DC Budgam, Manzoor Ahmad Lone, which was stopped for unknown reasons—sources said there was a pressure from higher ups—after the demolition squad demolished the boundary wall of the house of Former Congress Minister Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed and retrieved 30 marlas of grazing land. They had also sealed house of a retired bureaucrat, Farooq Renzu, that was constructed on 30 marlas of grazing land. Besides the District Administration had sealed the house of a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Malik Aijaz, who had grabbed 40 marlas of grazing land at Googo near Airport and constructed a house on it. As per reports, Aijaz had grabbed this land when he was posted in district Budgam as DSP operations.
DC Budgam, Manzoor Ahmad Lone was then immediately transferred and posted as Director Employment, J&K in Jan 2015 to evade any inquiry.
Pertinently while hearing a Public Interest Litigation last year, a division bench of Justices Muzaffar Hussain Attar and Janak Raj Kotwal when asked registry to issue notices to Deputy Commissioners of Anantnag, Pulwama, Srinagar, Ganderbal, Bandipora, Kupwara, and Shopian for falling to recover agricultural land conversion, the then Deputy commissioner Budgam was praised for launching anti- encroachment drive and retrieving land from encroachers.
Notably almost all politicians of Kashmir are well aware of this land scam, however since many among politicians and top brass officials have also constructed their houses in the area, rest of the politicians never dare to raise their voices on the issue.
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